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Reprod Biomed Online. 2011 Jun;22(6):556-68. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2011.03.013. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Ovarian drilling for surgical treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome: a comprehensive review.

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Univ Paris-Sud, BicĂȘtre, France.


This systematic literature review is intended to clarify and evaluate the results obtained by ovarian drilling as surgical treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Four databases were consulted (Medline at the National Library of Medicine, USA; Cochrane Library, UK; National Guideline Clearinghouse, USA; and the Health Technology Assessment Database, Sweden) and searched for 'polycystic ovary syndrome' plus 'drilling' in the title or abstract. The assessment criteria used to define the efficacy of the procedure were the rates of ovulation, clinical pregnancy and early miscarriage. Alternatives to surgical ovarian drilling were evaluated. This search produced 147 references, 81 of which met the selection criteria. This review of infertility management in women with PCOS indicates that ovarian drilling is a second-line treatment when treatment with clomiphene citrate fails to lead to conception. The benefits of ovarian drilling are that it does not induce either hyperstimulation syndrome or multiple pregnancies. It is concluded that ovarian drilling is an option in the management of female infertility associated with PCOS, especially as a second-line treatment after the failure of clomiphene citrate treatment.

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